Delays slow P.H. Miller Elementary School renovation work

Plano School District officials currently uncertain if school’s planned reopening will be affected

Delays in the delivery of construction materials may affect the opening of P.H. Miller Elementary School at 904 Lew Street in Plano.

Plano School District 88 Director of Operations Bryan Appel presented the Board of Education with an update on the state of the district’s construction projects at its July 19 meeting.

“I don’t yet know 100% that we’ll be able to open on time,” Appel told the board, referring to P.H. Miller.

Appel added that information he expected to receive during a construction planning meeting July 20 “should help ease my worry.”

According to the school district’s calendar for the 2021-2022 school year, the first day of class for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade is Aug. 18.

Following questions by the board, Appel confirmed that the goal is to have the school open and operational for students even if construction is not yet completed. The school has been the site of an extensive renovation project.

“Ideally, everything will be there to open in a normal manner. It may not be perfect,” he told the board.

“At this time, we cannot determine if we will have any unfinished portions of the project that will impact opening P.H. Miller on time,” district documents stated. “In other words, some unfinished portions will not prevent us from opening on time since they are just cosmetic, but other portions (safety-related, etc.) could cause opening issues.”

Appel elaborated on the concerns, saying, “We do have a number of issues there, however it’s not all doom and gloom.”

Between the day that information packets were sent to board members and the July 19 meeting, several delays in construction had ceased to be problems, according to Appel.

However, concerns remain over the building’s front entry glass wall system and the glass wall system for the building’s reception area, as well as casework including cubbies, countertops, leaning wall shelves, and a reception desk.

Appel told the board that the wrong countertops were sent to the school. However, he said workers will install the incorrect tops as a stop-gap measure until the correct countertops can be received and installed.

District documents also confirmed that the construction delays have created “a much, much tighter window” for district staff to ready P.H. Miller for the first day of school. Classrooms and offices cannot be set up or completed until construction activities allow for cleaning staff to complete their necessary work.